Managing Borrowed Money: 7 Crucial Steps for Choosing the Right Credit Card for You

Choosing the right credit card for you can often be a tough decision – but it’s an important one. Being stuck on the wrong card could actually cost you money, so you need to make sure you pick the right one. Thankfully, you’re in the right place – as we’re going to look at a few crucial steps to help you get the right one.

1. Check the interest rates

First and foremost – you need to look at the interest rates on offer. It’s one of the most important factors in choosing a credit card. While you should pay back your balance in full every month as we’ll look at in a bit – this isn’t always possible. So you need a good interest rate and make sure you’ve checked what fees you might be charged upon late payments.

Some of the cards that seem to have great headline offers actually might not be all they’re cracked up to be once you check the smallprint, so make sure you’ve checked everything carefully.

2. Check any introductory offers

Since you’re looking to find a new credit card, you should be able to find a few introductory offers. Shop around and find one that works for you. But remember – these offers won’t last so make sure you know what you’re going to be paying once the initial period has finished.

3. Look for cashback or reward cards

If you spend a lot, you might as well get something back. There are lots of different cashback and reward cards that pay you bonuses on your spending. These could be valuable if you use the card in the right way – but make sure you’re not giving up a good interest rate in exchange for worthless points.

However, for someone who intends to pay off their balance each month, the interest rate isn’t as important – so you might as well see if you can get some money back on your spending. You could get up to 5% in cashback with the right card, and that soon adds up if you use it for everything. If you’re looking for a credit card for fair credit, this might make a difference to the rewards you can get.

4. Make sure you can afford it

Make sure you’re earning enough to justify a credit card and the fees you might have to pay. For some lower earners, you might want to simply consider a debit card – they can still be used in all the same places (sometimes more) and are less risky.

5. Shop around

Don’t sign up to the first offer you see – make sure you do your research and shop around for the best card for you.

6. Stick to reputable lenders and check reviews

There are tons of different lenders and credit card firms out there – so you won’t have heard of all of them when you start seeing some good offers. If you’re unsure about how reputable a certain credit card company is, you can start checking reviews online fairly easily. Stick to those that come mostly recommended.

7. Pay it off in full every month

Try and use your credit card like a debit card and simply pay it off every month. That way you won’t be charged interest and you should get a great credit score in the process.

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Sarah Anguish

Sarah Anguish is the blogger behind this award-winning family lifestyle and top 10 UK mum/parenting blog. Started in August 2011 as she returned to work following maternity leave with her second child. Boo Roo and Tigger showcases family life, home decor, travel and everything in between.

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